Side Effects of Crash Dieting - Do Crash Diets Work?

Dr Deepika Garg's picture

Crash dieting is only a temporary solution for those who are overweight. While some people are able to shed excessive weight rapidly by adhering to crash diets, the weight that is lost is usually regained quickly. This type of yoyo dieting can cause several health problems, which, in some cases, spiral out of control.

Firstly if you’re thinking about crash dieting, you become obsessed about the foods you can consume. Ultimately, you start feeling guilty if you allow yourself to eat even a little more than you think you can afford to. Because you have to avoid eating certain foods as part of your diet, you build up the urge to eat those very foods and this can put you through a lot of emotional stress. But stress is not the sole health problem that accompanies crash diets. The list of adverse effects runs long.

Here’s how you’re harming your body by depriving it of the right food:

  • Those who use crash diets as a means of getting rid of excess weight, play havoc with their metabolic rate.
  • Slow metabolism further hinders with your weight-loss endeavor as it means that the body isn’t able to rapidly convert food into energy. This can in turn make it difficult to lose weight.
  • Suddenly depriving the body of food will only encourage the body to hold on to its reserves.
  • It is also an established fact that repeated dieting leads to obesity later in life.

Why Crash Diets Ususally Do Not Work?

The following video explains that crash diets do not work for the following reasons:

Crash Diets...

  1. Decompose your muscle
  2. Prevent fat loss
  3. Zap your energy
  4. Decrease your metabolism
  5. Turn you into a sallow vampire from Twilight

Crash Diets later lead to Eating Disorders

The constant need to diet also brings on eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia. According to those who diet frequently, are eighteen times more likely to suffer from an eating disorder. The prevalence of bulimia in particular, is on the rise amongst women.
Other Physiological Problems resulting from Unhealthy Diets

People on crash diets also suffer from other physiological problems. They tend to feel extremely hungry, often feel lethargic and are more prone to bodily aches and pains. As you start to deprive your body of essential nutrients, you’ll not only lose body mass but you’ll also lower the functioning of your immune system, and consequently fall prey to many illnesses that are otherwise combated by a healthy immune system.

The soup diet, detoxifying liquid-only diets, and other fad diets that promise you’ll shed enough weight to get into those skinny jeans are not recommended by experts. Cardiologist Dr. Rosenfield from the Weill Cornell Medical College said that repeated crash diets rob the body of essential nutrients and increase a person’s risk of suffering from heart attacks.

People who resort to liquid diets are also more susceptible to atrophy of the heart muscles and this in turn can cause death.

Crash Dieting under certain conditions may not be harmful

People who stick to crash dieting plans may be able to lose 15 to 20 pounds over 2 months. British scientist Dr Susan Roberts, who is a professor of nutrition at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, has suggested that crash dieting is not always bad, particularly if healthy foods are consumed.

Exercise also plays an important role in promoting weight loss. However, people who engage in strenuous activities and later sit down to calorie laden lunches and dinners are more likely to end up obese.

Obesity caused by incorrect eating habits, lack of exercise, emotional eating and binge eating is likely to cause premature deaths. Those who are unable to battle the bulge ultimately resort to liposuctions and bariatric surgeries in order to get back into shape. Now, medical insurance companies usually refuse to cover such elective procedures. In order to avoid upsetting their yearly budgets, people try and get liposuction in Mexico, Thailand or India.

Why mess up your diet in the first place, if you have to later suffer an unhealthy body, low confidence, and eventually resort to bariatric surgery in Mexico?

The easier, and possibly the wiser approach would be to eat right and exercise well. Crash dieting may help you get that bikini body for the summer months but it can leave you feeling tired and languid, besides bringing more problems in the long run.

This article was written by Dr. Deepika Garg who writes for

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Disclosure: We review and test many products on this site. Nobody pays us to review their product. However, if you end up purchasing one of these products we sometimes receive a small fee from the merchant. This helps to keep the site maintained and running.

User login

Theme provided by Danang Probo Sayekti on Hostgator